After I wrote a blog on the age of the earth (see here), I received a number of comments, which I will now address.
First, my friend John told me he did not like me discussing the subject since he thinks it is not a Free Grace issue and is divisive.
Second, Mark wondered if I think that this issue is important enough to break fellowship over.
Third, a mathematician named John quoted Peter as saying that “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years” (2 Pet 3:8). He then multiplied 6,200 years times 365 days per year times 1000 years per day and came up 2.264 billion years. (Or, he said that if scientists are right and the earth is 4.543 billion years old, then that would equal 12,438 Biblical years.)
My response to Mark and to my friend John is that we can agree to disagree and still fellowship since we are in fundamental agreement on the Christian faith. I agree that Young Earth Creationism is not an essential issue. (Creationism is, of course, an essential doctrine.) A person who believes in an old earth can have a high view of God and of inerrancy and he can believe in the free gift of everlasting life.
I think the age of the earth is an important issue that relates to Free Grace Theology. However, I would not break fellowship with anyone over this issue and I hope they would not break fellowship with me, either, over this non-essential issue.
My response to John the mathematician is that he can’t do what he has done without making the Bible into a magic book. It is true that some people think the Hebrew word yom (day) in Genesis 1 refers to an age of undefined length. So, the six days of creation are six ages. While that dog won’t hunt, that is a separate argument and is, at least, based on Scripture.
But to take all the ages of people in the Bible and add them together and then multiple by 365,000 would mean that all the ages in the Bible are way understated. When Moses said that Adam lived 930 years, what he really meant is that Adam lived 930 times 365,000 years, or 339.45 million years.
The facts of science never conflict with the facts of the Bible. When someone points out an apparent conflict between the two, then the problem is either that he has misinterpreted the scientific data, the Scriptures, or both. I believe that the scientific evidence is compatible with a young Earth. However, science cannot accurately measure the age of the earth.
Thank you all for caring about pleasing God and His Word. If we love God for having given us the free gift of everlasting life by faith alone, apart from works, then we also love His communication to us. That is as it should be. We may not agree on every jot and tittle. But we do agree on the essentials, especially the promise of everlasting life to the believer.